June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Undergraduate construction management programs are designed to provide students with construction technology and business management related academic preparation for entry careers into the construction industry. Classroom and laboratory instruction are the major pedagogical styles employed, with practical experience gained through student internships on actual construction related projects. This study stems from the need to define the quantity and nature of skills students should acquire through an internship in order to meet the expectations of hiring companies for their future entry-level employees.
Within the construction management programs accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE), the exact number of programs requiring internships as part of their defined undergraduate course of study is not readily available. Through a phone survey involving 39 ACCE programs, 23 (59%) have an internship component as part of their degree requirements. Students typically obtain internship positions during summer sessions between spring and fall academic terms. Although summer sessions vary in length, a twelve week internship duration is accepted as a baseline generating approximately 500 hours of experience for the intern. Ten of the 23 programs require more than 500 hours of experience, whereas 11 of the 23 programs require less. Construction companies employing student interns may have differing levels of internship program development. Some have formalized, structured programs, whereas others do not. The tasks and responsibilities assigned to students are often not well defined nor balanced in applying a broad skill set associated with the students’ level of academic preparation. Further inquiries were made into job tasks typically assigned to a student intern. Thirty-two members of a program’s industry advisory board provided input on task assignments. Many of the tasks identified were management-related. A third constituent involved in internships is the student. Construction management students were surveyed to determine their perception on the appropriate quantity of work hours comprising their internship, and the job tasks assigned. Whereas, all parties expressed value in having students involved in management-related functions, only 1 in 4 students reported these types of tasks were actually performed during their internships.
Findings of this study provide construction management educators and construction industry representatives with relevant information for curriculum and internship program development. Additionally, the results aid students majoring in construction management to evaluate internship opportunities critically so they are best prepared for full-time employment at graduation.
Keywords: ACCE, Construction Management, Co-op, Internship, Students, Work Experience
Panthi, K., & Hollar, D. A., & Wang, G. C. (2017, June), Work Experience Requirement and Expectation of Construction Management Students in ACCE-accredited Construction Management Programs Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29137
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